Key heartland states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh vote today

Key heartland states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh vote today

Nov 17, 2023 - 10:30
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Key heartland states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh vote today

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both heartland states drawing public attention ahead of next year’s upcoming general election, vote on Friday. For Madhya Pradesh, it will be a single-phase assembly election, while for Chhattisgarh this is the second phase of voting.

Polling began on Friday morning for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, where 2,533 candidates, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his predecessor Kamal Nath are in the fray for 230 assembly seats, in a straight contest between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress.

Voting is being held from 7 am to 6 pm in all the assembly segments except in Baihar, Lanjhi and Paraswada seats in Balaghat district, 55 booths in Mandla district’s Bichhiya and Mandla seats and 40 polling stations of Dindori district, all Naxalite affected, where voting time is 7 am to 3 pm, an official said.

The single-phase voting covering all the 230 assembly seats — 47 of them reserved for Scheduled Tribes and 35 for Scheduled Castes — has more than 5.6 crore registered electors, the official said.

A mock poll was conducted in the presence of authorized polling agents 90 minutes before the actual start of voting, the official said.

Voting is underway in 64,626 polling stations set up in the state. They include 64,523 main booths and 103 associate (sahayak) stations, where the number of voters is more than 1,500.

As many as 5,60,58,521 voters, including 2,87,82,261 males, 2,71,99,586 females and 1,292 third gender persons, are eligible to exercise their franchise. The voters also include service and overseas electors.

A total of 2,533 candidates of political parties and independents — 2,280 males, 252 females and one third gender person — are vying to enter the state assembly.

The number of “critical” voting stations is 17,032, while 5,260 booths have all-women polling staff, the official said. Booths which recorded very high turnout or witnessed any sort of violence during previous elections are designated as “critical polling stations”.

As many as 183 polling stations have been set up for persons with disabilities.

For the first time, 371 youth-managed booths have been set up, while the number of “model” polling stations stands at 2,536. 3:

Second phase of voting in Chhattisgarh:

On Friday morning, polling began for the second and final phase of assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, where 958 candidates, including Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Deputy CM T S Singh Deo, eight state ministers and four members of Parliament are in the fray for 70 seats.

Polling began at 7 am in nine polling booths in Naxal-affected Bindranawagarh seat in Gariaband district for security reasons and will end at 3 pm.

The polling time in all the 70 constituencies is from 8 am to 5 pm, except in these nine booths, an official said. The booths are Kamarbhaudi, Amamora, Odh, Bade Gobra, Ganwargaon, Gariba, Nagesh, Sahbinkachhar and Kodomali.

The first phase of elections for 20 seats in the Naxal-affected state, which has a 90-member assembly, was held on November 7 and saw a high voter turnout of 78 per cent.

The ruling Congress, voted to office in 2018 after 15 years in opposition, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are the main contenders for power in the state, where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and some regional outfits are also in the fray.

While the Congress has set an ambitious target of winning 75-plus assembly seats, the opposition BJP is seeking to make a comeback to power in the state which it ruled for 15 years non-stop — from 2003 to 2018

A total of 958 candidates — 827 men, 130 women and one transgender person — are contesting for 70 seats spread across 22 districts. As many as 1,63,14,479 voters — 81,41,624 men, 81,72,171 women and 684 of third gender — are eligible to exercise their franchise at 18,833 polling booths.

At 26, the Raipur City West seat has the highest number of contestants, while Dondilohara in Balod district has the lowest count of candidates at four.

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